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    Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Interests
    Diving, Maritime archeology

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  1. Yes, Bayeux s a must. And if you are near Saint-Malo, take a cruise: https://www.etoile-marine.com/notre-flotte/le-renard/ Cheers, Gregor
  2. It's nice to be back, Tony (and discovering your Chaloupe, too). I bought the wheel, 17 mm in diameter, from Caldercraft. It was a perfect fit for La Mutine. Stove ans pumps were made from a wild mixture of materials: A wooden dowel, washers and polystyrene profiles for the pumps, with a brass rod and tube for their handle. A wooden cube, a thin polystyrene sheet and paper, brass rod, polystyrene profiles and lots of glue. Then paint, to cover it all. I hat great fun making them. Gregor
  3. It has been almost a year since I updated my log. I even worked on another project: Still, some small details were added to my schooners. First and most important, my childhood dream: A wheel! While La Topaze only had a tiller, La Mutine had a real wheel fitted. If I were to speculate, the reason for this might be found in the heavy rigging. La Mutine was probably much harder to steer than the sweetsailing Topaze (as trials in 1823 have shown). Iron pumps and stoves followed (only a chimney in the case of La Topaze). La Topaze got her anchors. And then, finally, both got their names! Carving failed, so I had to search for another method. I experimented with laser cutting, added putty, paint and metal letters (1.5mm). Gregor
  4. Hi aviaamator My small cutter was a kit (http://www.falkonet.ru/boat2). With a little tweaking I made it look like a French boat called Youyou ("little darling") of 5 meters. I followed the tip of French modeler Bruno Orsel, who sent me the plan (sorry about the quality) he found in a French archive. Boudriot's drawing shows a bigger cutter of 6 (or 6.5) meters, as shown in the Atlas du Génie maritime, page 119. source: https://web.archive.org/web/20120113075641/http://www.servicehistorique.sga.defense.gouv.fr/02fonds-collections/banquedocuments/planbato/atlas/rec.php
  5. As La Topaze has no cover for her spars and oars, I had to make them in order to lash them down beside the cutter – so I made the complete set. There are still some details missing (pumps, decorations). But the next step will be a simple one: a chimney for Topaze’s galley. I wish you all a happy New Year! Gregor
  6. I even added some details I dreamed up: You can find covered spars and oars in bigger, contemporary ships like La Créole (plans G. Boudriot), and animal cages under the small cutter. So that’s my gift to the Mutine for her next voyage to the Indian Ocean.
  7. This bench for officers (quite typical in French ships) stands as a symbol of slow progress: But still, I managed to add a few details to my decks. A closer look: Both ships now have their binnacles: Topaze a very traditional one, Mutine the new, modern version. Topaze’s compass is 25cm in diameter, that of La Mutine 25, according to the Atlas du Génie maritime.
  8. Thanks, Tony, you are very welcome! The planking of the decks was another, much bigger project that had me worried since autumn. There are no straight planks, all are curved. Also, it seemed that both the Mutine’s planking pattern and the model of the Topaze in Paris are different from the plans of Jean Boudriot’s Jacinthe. A friendly model train builder came to rescue. He owns a CNC-mill and cut my planks (I had to learn the differences between drawing graphics with AdobeIllustrator and a CAD-tool, much wood was used up because we had to learn the differences between plastic sheets and maple wood and so on). Caulking was done with a soft pencil. After gluing the planks to the false deck, I scraped the decks with micro slides (cut edged glass – dangerous for your fingers when breaking, bad for the deck when you are bleeding). The Topaze got her six portholes I had prepared in advance. And now I’m looking forward to build all the small stuff you find on deck. Cheers, Gregor
  9. With a bad conscience, finally an update on my project. It’s slow going anyway, but some headway was made. After both hulls were coppered, I embarked on a small holyday project: the cutters. Jean Boudriot shows on his plans a cutter of 6.5 meters (“petit canot” in French). The maker of the Topaze model I’m copying in smaller scale proposed a smaller boat of 5.5 meters, based on his research. In French, it’s called “Youyou”, which translates in something like “little darling” or other nice things you would call a baby. I even started by cutting out the bulkheads when I discovered a nice little kit, made in Russia by Falconet (http://www.falkonet.ru/boat2). It has exactly the dimensions of my Youyou, and very easy to build (excellent explanations with enough pictures so you don’t have to understand Russian, which I don’t). But this is a scratch building log, so I made a semi-scratch French Youyou out of a Russion cutter. A cut at the stem and an addition at the stern gives a new silhouette, new rudders were made, benches altered, and after some other small changes I had two French boats as used in the 19th century. The little kits, by the way, are cleverly done, the planks are laser cut and perfectly fitting, the pear wood in excellent quality. That’s it for the moment, another entry will soon describe the planking of the decks. Gregor
  10. ... then I'm glad I can offer more than one hull, to please the diverse tastes of my viewers! Gregor
  11. Dirk, you've just proven that you are good enough for this build. She will not only be beautiful, but also as historically correct as possible. Gregor
  12. Thanks, Tony, you are kind. The important difference is that on Mutine's hull the tiles overlap (historically correct), but on the model this has a three-dimensional effect. On Topaze's hull, I put the tiles precisely along each other, so the copper skin is flatter and smoother.
  13. Finally, the coppering is done! One advantage of building two sister ships is that you can apply on the second hull what you have learnt on the first. You can see the difference between the Mutine and the Topaze, where I laid the tiles much more carefully. Sorry for the quality of my pictures - they were made with my old smartphone. Now the rudders have to be attached, an then I will be able to turn them around in an upright position again... Cheers, Gregor
  14. I've built some small stuff, and tried out different methods for coppering the hulls. When drawing the planking pattern of the decks, I decided to follow in both schooners the pattern of La Topaze (based on the contemporary model in Paris. The plan of La Mutine shows more, even narrower planks). As a historian I have to deny that the plan of La Mutine is "proof" of her actual appearance. Proof would require corroboration sources, such as a "devis d'armement", a document that describes dimensions and details and is part of the contract with the builder. I don't know whether the archives of Lorient dockyards survived WWII, but that's where such a document would be. But I think it can reasonably be assumed that her appearance as shown in the Atlas du Génie maritime, an official publication, could pass the scrutiny of critical eyes at the time. There are details open to interpretation or even missing, but in general it should be correct representation of a schooner of its type. For my project, thats enough. Here's what they are looking like at the moment: The pattern on the plank over Mutine's capping rail was laser printed after I found paper of the correct colour. As always, several attempts had to be made... The copper tiles are made from self-adhesive copper tape. In France, they were bigger than in England or Holland, and in 1:64 they are 25 x 8 mm. On a french ship, you start at the stern a bit above the waterline. Cheers, Gregor

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